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hail. we have very -- a certainly level of watch. you have a severe thunderstorm watch, a tornado watch and a pdc, which means particularly dangerous situation, and that's what we're getting now. >> i'm going to let you catch your breath, because you're going to turn around, i imagine, and continue talking about this on "the situation room." i have to say good buy. thank you so much for watching. we're all over this breaking weather news. "the situation room" starts right now. brooke, thank you very much. a massive tornado outbreak, multiple twister in multiple states. new details of injuries, extensive damage. also cnn is inside iran for the first parliamentary election in three years. the last votes sparked deadly violence. what will happen this time? rush limbaugh calls a contraceptive advocate a prostitute and worse, drawing
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condemnation from fellow republicans. rick santorum says the comments are absurd. the white house is also being drawn into the uproar. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." let's get right to the breaking news, a huge tornado outbreak stretches from alabama to indiana and beyond. millions of americans are under tornado watches. tornado warnings as well. professional storm chasers have been following these twisters all afternoon, providing dramatic images of an unfolding disaster. new tornado reports are coming in literally by the minute. with indiana, kentucky, tennessee and other states all seeing multiple touchdowns only in the last hour. we also have this video from evansville, indiana. it's far from over. storms are on the move. the destruction could go on for hours. let's bring mayor jim coppinger of hamilton county in
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tennessee, where chattanooga is located. mayor, set the scene. tell us what's going on inur county. >> well, we did have a ouchdown of a tornado that has been confirmed. as a result of that, we do have multiple injuries. fortunately today we have no fatalities to date. we do have people we are currently trying to make contact with, as you can imagine there's a lot of debris. we have large trees down that are covering over the access roads to get to people. so, you know, we're working diligently at this hour to make sure that everyone is accounted for and hopefully we will eye scape without any serious injuries or fatalities. >> did it hit a populated area or more of a rurp area? >> well, actually it's right at the city limits of the city of chattanooga, just beyond there in an unincorporated area of our
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cot. it does -- originally looked like a direct hit at a boat dock marina then into a populated area. >> were the folks prepared. did the warnings go out? what was the basic preparation. >> unfortunately this was a weather systems that -- that actually there was a prediction later on this evening and tonight of severe weather, but this was a cell that kind of popped up in the area and as a result of that, i mean, pe re notified to t best of our ability. then again this kind of devastation, when you take a direct hit, it's really hard to prevent any injuries, certainly not any loss of property. we had information loss of
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property. >> we're getting information in from the -- bill at this timele, telling us at least 40 to 50 homes have significant damage we know about. at least 24 reported injuries there's no reported fa sails right now. is there any new information beyond that? >> not at this time. obviously the number of damage to homes and injuries to people, we expect that number to climb but not significantly. we've been in this event about three hours now, so hopefully we're making inroads. >> does it look lie the severe weather in your county is over with, or is it still unfolding? >> well, it's still unfolding, actually. we're just hopeful that there's some weather changes to where it doesn't have as significant an impact as it did earlier today. >> if you could stay with us for a few moments, i woulde
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grateful, mayor. b marciano, our meteorologist, is in the chattanooga area. i'd like for him to bring us up to speed, and ayor, he probably las a question or two as well. rob, where are you? and what are you seeing? >> reporter: like the mayor described, we are northeast in, a community of about 20,000 people, a really nice suburb, basically, of chattanooga. you mentioned 40 to 50 homes damaged. in some cases like the one behind me completely destroyed. the gentleman who lives in this home thankfully, and his wife were not home. that would have been a tough one to ride out. there he is, a navy veteran, but you see beyond the foundation of that home. across that lake, more damage. the path of this thing is about 200 yards wide, wolf. not only are we see substantial damage, but trees are snapped in half.
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1234e6 by my guess, at least an ef-2, if not an ef-3 storm. there are basically two ways to get to some of the damaged area. the first a access road we encountered, we were not allowed down. that was scary, because emts were setting up triage, ten not so serious, and i'm happy to hear from the mayo that he doesn't anticipate many more than that, but mr. mayor, tell me about your constituents. i've only had a few minutes to talk to just a handful of them, and they're certainly rattled. there's an urgency to get these roads cleared, and -- in order to get the vehicles where they need to go. how are your emergency personnel keeping up with all these trees and power lines down on the roads? >> in answer to your question, we did have a tremendousmot of response and resources being
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dedicated to the area. we do have a number of people chainsaws.ported with the obviously oupublic works crews are out on the scene in order to try to remove some of the heavier trees that are down, and again we asked to be able to get to everyone. one of the main arteries up there, i was just told the road has been opened from start to finish, so that's going to help us significantly. we'll just continue to work diligently, as long as it tax to get back to as close to normalcy as we can, but that will take days, weeks, months. >> mayor, this is wolf blitzer in "the situation room." you can see rob marciano is on the scene for us. if you have a question for him, i know you're probably not close to where he is, go ahead and ask
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him a question. he's or meteorologist, or severe weather expert. he can probably give you up-to-date information. >> i am in the emergency operation center, we do have direct contact with the national weather service. as you can imagine, if you've been in a emergency center, there's a number of screens up making the predictions for us. part of his outlet is certainly one of them we rely on to make that determination of predicting what will happen out into the night. but again, you know, it's a cooperative and coordinated effort, such as the national weather service helping us to make those decisions. >> there you can see rob marciano. chad myers is also with us, mayor, our severe weather expert, our meteorologist at the cnn center. chad, i know you have a question for the mayor as well. >> now things that are slightly
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torn apart, you'll get hit again. did you get people out of the areas that have been hit and not let them clean up? are you going to stop that process? what's going to happen in the next couple hours? the dangers that arise every day. be certainly to take cover. in the event we get a warning, we'll certainly put them on notice and make certain they take shelter. >> chad, if you could just give us an update, and if the mayor could hang with us a couple minutes, just where these storms are now, because they're spread over not just chat nothinga, but in a whole bunch of states.
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>> the first ones that popped up were near chattanooga, huntsville, a lot like they did on tuscaloosa, but now we have storms along the ohio river into west of memphis, and all the way far south as almost houston. the storms along the southern part of the like are not tornado yet, but certainly could be. let's focus in on the worst of the worst. cincinnati, ohio you had tornado warnings to your west. storms are certainly rotating there. the west of louisville, though louisville you don't have a warning yet, what i expect for you would be wind damage event as the storm as lined up, as lines come together, that's a
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good thing. it will make wind damage. when storms line up, and they get to fight each other, you don't get tornadoes like when they're all by themselves. look at that storm, all by itself. it's rotating, and there's probably already a tornado on the ground there. here's birmingham, huntsville, another storm west of huntsville, all by itself, rotating. it's like when you take -- i use this analogy a lot, but if you have 30 dogs and give them one bowl of foot, all the dogs will stay pretty skinny. one dog you gave the same -- that dog will be the big fat dog. when you don't have to share, when these storms don't have to share with 30 other storms, they become the big dog. they guess to be the mezzo-cyclone, that storm that rotates right now we have 18 tornado warnings across six
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states. >> privilege devastating. chas, i know you have another question for the mayor jim coppinger in tennessee, go ahead. >> well, the entire effort this morning, i know it caught some people by surprise. are you at all encouraged by the fact that the injuries that you have are relatively minor, or at least no fatalities? that really did pop up in a matter of just an hour. >> anytime you get this kind of severe weather, i don't know what they're estimated at yet, and you have the devastation you're seeing there, then obviously, now, we're saddened by any injuries to any citizens sustained, but then again, i think we are fortunate we didn't have any loss of life at this point. the short answer is sometimes when you see these weather events occur, it's obviously
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miracles and got shines upon us sometimes. i think we avoided some of the serious fatalities today when you look at the devastation that occurred. >> i'm going to let you get back to your work. >> they're very lucky they didn't have the damage or at least the injuries and fatalities they could have. because people took the precautions properly, they did the right things and got in safe places. we have to do that same thing tonight. it happened in the middle of the night around 4:30. these tornadoes that hit your community, it was already daylight, morning, people were awake, not in their beds. is that right?
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so we are accustomed to that, the citizens take it extremely serious when there's weather advisories that go out. glen, because people do train for they, i think that as a result of that today, we didn't sustain any fatalities at this point. mayor coppinger, thank you very much. good luck to all the folks out there. i want to go back to -- rob, you took some still photos, and tell us what we're seeing. i don't know if you can see what we're putting on the air right now. >> reporter: no, i can't, but saw it firsthand. it depends on the photo. some of these homes are one and
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two-osteohomes, and brick fa solids that have been built to withstand storms. some of those storms have been torn up very badly. i two suspect just in the subdivision that we're in. this was at least a mile long, and in areas that are well built. how often doi see there? a 12 by 4 right through a door. this is just part of a carport. mr. benting who lives here, a 78-year-old navy veteran, he will talk to us on camera, but right now he wanted to gather his emotion and take stock. his wife, god bless her, was out of work when she was and lets was having a bite at crystal's hamburgers. he's grateful he wasn't in the home. he's been living there for 30 years. folks who live in this community
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and probably across the lake have lived here for quite a while. the buzz of chainsauce certainly is prevalent, the scream of sirens and emergency vehicles. that in the last few minutes has somewhat calmed down, so maybe the urgency of getting the injured out, searching through homes, maybe that's beginning to ease up. we certainly got some comfort when you spoke to the mayor about what he anticipates as far as further injuries coming out of this area, but it is hard to imagine what this storm was like when it came through just three hours ago. >> think about a family, their whole life inside that house, ripped apart by this tornado. how sad is that. but at least they're okay. rob, we're not going to leave this story. a lot more going on not in chattanooga, about you throughout the midwest and south. we've got reporters and crews picking up, including some storm chasers as well.
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stay with us for the breaking news coverage. also in "the situation room," rick santorum, he weighs in on the controversy swirling around rush limbaugh and markets about a contraception advocate. my interview with the presidential front-runner coming up. you'll hear what he has to say. also cnn is inside iran for the first plamary elections in three years. our ivan watson is there. we'll go there, and we're following the breaking news, the huge tornado outbreak that's happening right now. we'll stay on top of this unfolding disaster. very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. a lot of things going on in my life and the last thing i want to be thinking about is my dentures.
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we're continuing to following the breaks news. we've got a storm chaser that we'll be speaking to momentarily just west of nashville. dramatic developing under way, but there's other important news we're following. ivan watson is with us. what's the latest? >> reporter: the polls closed nearly two hours ago. already top iranian officials are applauding what they say was a massive voters turnout, the interior minister saying this turnout show you that iran has
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infuriated and disappointed its western enemies. lines 9 voters casting ballots in ornate mosques. morn that 3,400 candidates are competing for some 290 seats in parliament. >> i'm just going to vote out of chance. they're all good. it doesneny difference. they're all the same, all hezbollah, religious, very nice, kind people. >> reporter: which group do you think will win this election? >> reporter: as people line up into polls stations, into mosques like this, they file past banners that have slogans celebrating the accomplishments
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of iran's 33-year islamic revolution. for days, top iranian officials have urged voters to flock to the polls. candidates from the ruling establishment are calling this election vital. during the 2009 elections we faced a great plot perpetrated against us by western countries, says this lawmakers running for reelection. they tried to sideline our system of government, so these elections are very important to show the people's support for this system. after the last presidential election, street protests erupted when opposition candidates accused of government of rigging the results. security forces crushed the demonstrations, and the candidates themselves are still under house arrest. the opposition green movement is boycotting this election. as are some ordinary iranians. >> i don't want to take part in this election. >> reporter: why not?
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>> i say everyone has his own viewpoint, for example, someone says, okay, i i like the system or someone says i don't like. >> political analysts say the election field is dominated by conservative candidates known as principlists, which is fine for voters. she is a supporter of mahmud ahmadinejad and his political allies. i want to election politicians who will create more jobs for young people and improve the economy, she says. rival governments may be beating the war drums in the middle east, but this iranian woman says she just wants more jobs. wolf, iranian state media is already claiming record turnouts of 64% of voters eligible participating. you're hearing a very different line from activists from that green movement crushed by the
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security forces in 2009. we spoke with one art student, doesn't want his name published, of course, for his own safety. he said, quote, what you see on iranian tv is all propaganda. i'm not voting today, because my vote doesn't count and never has counted. an engineer here in tehran lamented that the lead serious of the green movement are still under house arrest. he went on to say i feel like a coward that i can't go on tv and tell the world what is happening in iran. i am ashamed. be careful over there. a massive tornado outbreak, multiple twisters. new details are coming in of injuries, extensive damage from this ongoing emergency. i'll talk to a man who survived the storm. but you said it was greek. mmhmm. so is it greek or is it yoplait? exactly.
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breaking news, i want to update or viewers on what's going on. you saw our own rob marciano do reporting for us from one area that's been pretty much leveled as a result of these tornadoes. authorities have evacuated him and our crew from that area. apparently it's still too dangerous for them to behere right now. so stand by, we'll reconnect with what's happening in the chattanooga area. joins us on the folks is eric fox, a storm chaser. correct le if i'm wrong, you're on i-40 just west of nashville, tennessee, is that correct?
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>> -- >> eric, hold on a second, our cell connection is not so good right now. maybe if you -- let's update or viewers. a whole series of tornadoes, not in just one state or two, but at least half a dozen. it looks like at least for certain parts of the country, the disaster is certainly just beginning. >> and the sun's out. that's a problem. the sun makes the ground warm. the warm air wants to bubble up. here's i-40. that's the cell, and that pink box does mean tornado warning on it. i have checked the rotation, it
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is not that impressive, but they have been coming and going all day long, so let's start from the top and go on down. you had a storm with a tornado on it very close to richmond, indiana. now into cincinnati. every sometime you see a pink box, the storm is rotating enough that the weather service believes a tornado could get on the ground, or a tornado has already been spotted. when you hear the word "watch" a small word, only five letters, not a significant as "warning." so if you take that warning and think about that's the biggest word, it's the more important work as well. you did have some wind come
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through, but the tornado is now down to the south in the southern suburbs, and elizabethtown, this is impressive, and i say that, wolf, because it's all about itself. see when they have to fight all against them, they're not getting as big, but all by itself, that one will be a monster. bowling green, not a tornado yet, but it will, i can tell by the shape of it. then into huntsville. >> stay with me. i think we have reconnected with him just heading toward nashville. set the scene for us. i know you're streaming livid i don't as well. what are you seeing? what are you hearing?
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unfortunately i think we have lost our connection with eric fox, we're going to try to resect. we're going to continue to follow this story. chad, stay with us. we're going to take a quick break. much more on the -- much more when we come back. it could be very abrasive. if the surface gets abraded, it's just the environment that bacteria likes to nestle into and they can cause the odor. your denture needs to be cleaned gently on a daily basis. i like to recommend polident, it kills the bacteria without causing any abrasion. when my patients follow my instructions, their dentures feel clean and fresh. they look forward to putting them in their mouth and smiling. you'd do that for me? really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm.
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tornadoes ripping apart areas. joining us on the phone, mayor mike moore, the mayor of jeffersonville. thanks very much for coming in. tell us what's happening in your community. >> well, we've had some pretty severe weather for the last several hours, and i had some devastating tornadoes come through a couple of the towns.
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about 12 to 13 miles north of here, had serious tornado damage. my understanding is the high school has been heavily hit. i understand from a county police officer, the term he used when he described it was that town is gone. >> wow. >> so we're -- there's sirens going as we speak, a lot of dark, angry skies looking out the window. you know, we are assisting where we can. i talked with my fire chief. we have sent a couple truck up to the henryville area to offer help. we are on high alert with police, fire, and want to make sure that jeffersonville stays intact. >> it's a city of about 45
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thousands you were telling me earlier. ear not out of the woods. the pictures we are seeing, it looks like the horrible, the severe weather is still a huge problem. >> oh, yeah. it's dark. the wind is still out there. we're under severe conditions here. i've got my kids in the basement. we're trying to stay alert to anything going on around us. >> what advice are you giving that surround it. >> i'm sorry. say again. >> what is the advice you're given to everyone? stay put? stay inside? find a secure locations? >> people need to get into their basements. the schools were afraid when school let out, right when the storms were coming through. the schools were not letting the
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kids out of school to catches buses. i went to the junior high and got my two kids out of there, but anybody whose parents didn't went to pick them up, the kids were lined up -- praying the storm didn't come through the schools. mike moore is the mayor of jeffersonville, indiana, the southern part of the state. illustrate to go back to rob marciano. he's in the chattanooga area. i understand you have a survivor of this tornado with you? >> reporter: yeah, we just -- the last report was right in front of the this home that was completely destroyed. mr. don benton, you're a form navy veteran, you were here 30 years, but you weren't here when the storm came through.
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>> that's right. my wife was working. i was down having lunch at crystal's, thank the lord. >> reporter: thank the lord for lunch. you're taking stock of the situation to see what memorabilia you can find. what's going through your mind? >> a bit of everything. i'm grateful for some of the things we have to bring back some good memories, that sort of thing, but it is harder to clean up than the usual place, but we're not by ourselves. we have so many other here. >> you're 7 years old. you've seen a lot in your full life. have you ever experienced a storm like this? >> not one this mean, but you know, in the navy, we've seen a few, but, no, this is real-life stuff here. >> how is your wife doing emotionally, where is he snow? >> she's made arrangements for us, a place tonight, i think. i don't know how she's going to feel when she sees it.
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you know how women are about clothes and things. it's going to be tough. >> reporter: don't get all sexist on me. what kind of things have meant a lot to you. >> the things when i was in the service, and some of the cups and things we used to have. you know. that that's when you had a happy hour. >> reporter: well, you certainly seem to be in good spirits, obviously happy to have your health and your wife. what's going through your mind as far as what you do next? >> definitely thank the lord for sparing as many mime as he has, and i know that these things can all be replaced, but like everyone else here, it's going to take a while, take a lot of people in construction to help out, you know. >> reporter: we wish you the best of luck, and your attitude is certainly inspiring. i'm glad you and your wife have a place to stay tonight. i hope you find the things that meet so much. good luck and i'm sorry for your
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loss. >> thank you for coming over. i hope everybody are not hurting anywhere and just it's startling. >> reporter: but you are in good spirits. again, thank you. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> reporter: amazing spirit, wolf, as you're seeing right there. mr. benton and i talked about. he's the same age as my father, and a navy aviator like my father was. there are certainly fortitude and spirit there for the men who have gone through that. anyway, the skies are getting dark north and west of my position, wolf. it's going to be a long night. we're not done with this yet. they're trying to clean up as much as possible and get hompeo who have lost homes into safe places. >> rob. thank you very much. thanks for that interview.
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he's a remarkable man indeed. we wish him and his family only the best. much more on the breaking news coming up. also my interview with rick santorum. that's coming up in the next hour as well. lots of news happening today right here in "the situation room." [ horn honks ] hey, it's sandra -- from accounting. peter. i can see that you're busy... but you were gonna help us crunch the numbers for accounts receivable today. i mean i know that this is important. well, both are important. let's be clear. they are but this is important too. [ man ] the receivables. [ male announcer ] michelin knows it's better for xerox to help manage their finance processing. so they can focus on keeping the world moving. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
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a number of tornadoes rips apart, tommy self is joining us from limestone county, alabama, not far from huntsville. where exactly are you? show our viewers what we're seeing? >> right now i'm northeast of thains, near the town of elkmont. the storm we were on produced warning has raced off to the northeast and is actually outrunning me. so for safety reasons, i'm not going to try to chase it down. i'm going to concentrate on the storm that's coming into limestone county now out of lawrence county.
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>> i try to get as close as i can, but i do stay at a safe damages. i don't want to put myself or anyone else in harm's way. >> it looks like it's going from bad to worse, as bad as these tornadoes, the severe weather, the storms were earlier in the day, it looks like it's getting worse. is that your impression? >> it is. i think the actual strength of this whole system may have been underplayed a bit, not thought through. we weren't thinking it was going to get this bad here. this super cells that are firing right now, i did not expect as many. i intersetted two large tornadoes this morning when we weren't expecting tornadoes.
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>> compare what's happening today with other storms over the years. ? compares to april 8th, '88, to me. a lot of people has talked about the comparison with this system from the original super outbreak in 1974 by the way it was set up. some have talked about and it's hard to put a comparison on two events this close together. tom in self is a storm chaser joining us. tommy, be careful over there. stay? turn, because we want to know what's going on. be careful. don't do anything overly reckless. we'll take on top of the breaking nuts.
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we're following the breaking news, a new warns for the nashville area. chad, what's going on?
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>> this is the first one for a major city like nashville for today. the storm to your west, right along the interstate is rotating. here's the downtown nashville area. now we know it's rotating enough a warning has issued for all of nashville proper. there's the storm there, very clone to kingston springs. and the hook of the cell right there, that's the most dangerous part of the storm. we do have red next to green. that mean the storm is still spinning like this, the wind is going away from the storm. that's why we know it's rotating
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and this is a dangerous storm moving into nashville at 50 miles per hour. you probably have another 15 minutes, but time to get you, the pets and the kids inside. >> don't go too far away. we're also following other news, including a huge uproar over very controversial comments made be rush limbaugh. rick santorum is weighing in, calling his comments absurd. my interview with rick santorum is next. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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hoar's the latest information from the storm prediction center. 22 active tornado warnings for 48 counties across the south and midwest. 24 severe thunderstorm warnings, five tornado watches covering, get this, 12 states. we'll get back to the breaking news in a moment. but there's other extraordinarily important news going on right now. some involves rush limbaugh. it's not unusual -- but now even some republican leaders are condemning the crude remarks he made about a woman who spoke out
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in support of a health reform require free contraception. our senior congressional correspond dana bash is here with details. it's pretty extraordinary, dana. update our viewers who perhaps have not been following it. >> the update is rush limbaugh spent a lot of time today talking about this. he is not backing down and neither is the very politically sophisticated georgetown student who has been become the unofficial spokesperson for what they call the gop war on women. >> explosive comments for rush limbau limbaugh. >> what does it say about the college coed susan fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and says that she must be paid to have sex. what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? it makes her a prostitute. she wants to be paid to have sex. >> sandra fallujah appeared at a
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democratic event last week, arguing the obama administration rule requiring free contraception is critical for women's health. we played limbaugh's -- >> i think he was confused about what my testimony, for starters. i didn't say that i should be paid for anything. what we were talking about was private insurance covering a medical need. it has nothing to do with the government paying for anything oar taxpayers or anyone like that. >> with someone like rush limbaugh with millions of viewers, calling you a slut? >> i felt probably the way many women do whether they are called those types of names. initially hurt and then very quickly upset and just outraged because someone is trying to silence you. >> politically limbaugh played right into the democrats' playbook called gop opposition to free contraception a war on women. >> i rise this morning to say to
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rush limbaugh, shame on you. shame you on for being the hate monger you are, for being misogynistic, shame you on for calling the women of this country sluts and prostitutes. i say to the women in this country, do something about this. >> house democrats campaign committee tried to raise money from the issues, and democrats circulated a her demanding that leaders repudiate rush limbaugh. john boehner did just that, a rare slap, with a dig at democrats, too. a spokesman cease the speaker believes that use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation. >> the woman comes forth with this frankly hilarious claim that she's having so much sex and her buddies with her that
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she can't afford it, and not one person says, well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have? did you ever think it's your responsibility for your own birth control now everybody else's. >> i would say that i don't think the women of america find it hilarious. >> it's in the democrats' political interest to keep this story going. she even got a call from the president. >> were you surprised? >> it certainly wasn't on my calendar for the day, but i was happy to add that to the schedule. he thanked me for speaking out and being willing to do this, and for helping to magnify the voices of women around the country. >> it's not just the shows speaker calling the slut comment inappropriate. the chairman of the committee she was supposed to testify in front of, darrell issa, he said it is inappropriate, but also
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hit back on democrats, saying they are also attacking the witnesses he had, people from religious organizations saying that he -- that they were denigrating them. this is definitely not going to end. on the mitt rom hi walked by our jim acosta when he asked about him, but i know you have an interview with rick santorum. >> he was very blunt. dana, thanks very much. another round of monster tornadoes terrorizing the region, and there are already reports of critical injuries. plus rick santorum slamming the conservative radio talk show host rush limbaugh for calling a contraception advocate a slut, a prostitute, even worse. why santorum and other republican leaders now say the comments made by rush limbaugh are, quote, absurd. stand by.
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my interview with rick santorum is coming up. breaking news, political headlines are all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." this is cnn, breaking news. first to the breaking news. huge, huge. from henryville indiana, and guess what? this is only just the beginning the devastation continuing right now, and more tornado watches and warnings are on the way. chad myers, or severe weather analyst and meteorologist has the latest information for us. chad, first of all, the big picture, huge parts of the country involved? >> yeah, literally all the way from ohio to texas to georgia to virginia. staying with these pictures. this was the most significant tornado of the day so far. that's not saying that a bigger
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tornado won't happen, but this was the tornado that 20 minutes later would run over the town of marysville, indiana. your quote from the mayor from eversonville, marysville is gone. this was the devastation we expected. not a ground truth yet, but at least -- very close to ef-4 tornado as it rolled over i-65 north of louisville. this is about 30 miles north of louisville proper, then it booed and eventually over milton where it wiped out the fire station there, and continued across the border over the river into kentucky. that right there, my friend, wolf, is devastating damage that we expected, you know, as we looked at it here, we hoped that the tornado would miss this town by a mile north or south, but we knew that it probably did.
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the signature of the tornado was right on top of this town if we don't find fatalities in this town with an f-4 right through it in the middle of the day, it will be an absolute miracle. when we looked at this, we all just kind of looked down and said, wow, i can't believe this is going to go right over the town. it's not a large town, but it sits right along interstate 65. there's another sure there. when you're driving on the interstate, you don't know that tornado is ahead of you. you don't even know what county in typically. i know there's a sign, but even if you hear the warning on the radio, you don't know where you are, and people drove right into this tornado. it ran over the town of
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marysville, indiana, and then across into kentucky. i hope this is all we see. i hope this is the worst. but i suspect we're -- this will continue for a long time. these are aerials out of our affiliate. they did take the flight about 30 miles up, because they knew this would be the hardest-hit town in the viewing area. these are live pictures from henryville area, a lot of people are trapped in the high school right now, as i say, these are awful, awful developments, and not far away, maryville, indiana, the clark county sheriff's department major truck adams say the town of marysville is, quote, completely gone. these picture are so sad, so devastating, chad. what's the forecast now? there are all sorts of warnings and watches under way even as we speak. >> yeah, 21 tornado warnings issued right now by about sevenor eight different states.
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the most significant one i want you to know, if you're just tuning in and not hearing about this yet, a tornado warning is in effect for nashville, tennessee. these terr pretty big towns and big cities, of course, in the case of nashville. that was a building right there, and probably a home, wolf, and there's nothing left except the sticks that it was built from. that is a big tornado, winds at least over 150 miles per hour to do that kind of damage to a home. we don't know yesterday whether the tornado west of nashville is actually on the ground. there's enough rotation that the warnings has been issued. if you live in nashville, tennessee right now or any of the suburbs, you need to take cover. this is a severe weather day. we may get three or four days like this in the entire year, where the humid is in place, the adviser 'tisity or upper-level storm is in place, the cold area is from the west. it's snowing in iowa right now. that's the cold air pushing this
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warm area along. if you live in an apartment complex, get to know your neighbor on the first floor. even if it's the laundry room on the first floor, you need to get out right now. that storm with a tornado warning for nashville is pretty significant. looking at these pictures, this is devastating. >> it is devastating. in indiana, tennessee and also in kentucky. senator rand paul of kentucky is joining us on the phone right now. senator paul, first of all, where are you? i assume you're in kentucky someplace? >> yes, i'm just south of frankfurt, between frankfurt and lawrence burg. it looks like a cell with potential tornadoes almost right on top of us. we decided the better part of valor was to get off the road. we had some hail coming down, so we're pulled over now at a gas station, hoping this is a -- >> in the gas station, senator,
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are you in a secure part there? just looking out? we want you to be safe. >> not sure, we're just waiting and watching. i'm not sure how security it will be, but there are some cinderblock rooms we'll probably get into if the tornado hits. >> frankfurt is a huge city, important city in kentucky. is the tornado warning and walk heading directly toward frankfurt right now? >> yeah, we're just -- we're watching it on the news, and that hot pink zone i believe we're right in that or very, very close to that. we're between frankfurt and lawrenceburg very near the western ka today parkway. i think we're close, but it's moving pretty fast. they say it's moving 60 miles an hour, we're hoping one the next few minutes it will be past.
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paint a picture for us. i don't want you to go anyplace dangerous, bud paint a picture for us what it looks like outside? >> it's sort of an eerie sky, very darnell in places, light in places. this morning it was 80 degrees, which is incredibly warm in bowling green, so over 80 degrees, but getting ready to drop to 40 degrees. it's that temperature differential, i think that spawns these storms. >> stand by, if you can be with us another moment or two. >> i don't know if you have a radar in front of you, but frankfurt, kentucky, right here to our viewers in lawrenceburg, the senator right along the freeway, the highway right there, the tornado vortex signature is down around alton, so lightly to your southwest moving to the east. this is the problems. they've been moving 50 to 60
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miles an hour, you don't have much time to take cover. millville is protect right in the pay of this tvs or tornado vortex signature. that is a bad sign. that's means that's where the rotation is on the ground. i need you obviously senator and all the people here from frankfurt, to take cover now. >> so, chad, give the senator and the folks he's well some expert advice. >> first thing to do, if you can see outside, you're in a bad place. you don't want to be near a window. it will shatter, blow in and cut you. even if you're only in a house with a secure four walls is a small closet in the middle of your home by your kitchen, that's where i want to be. you don't want a bunch of canned goods on the top shelf, because those will fall down, so you have to think about this. if you're in the bathroom closet, anything else could be
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heavy, make sure it comes down you're on the inside wall, afc the safest place to be, and of course the best place of all would be below ground, a cellar, a root cellar, just anywhere down below, downstairs. if you can get under the stairwell, typically the stairs are the safest, strongest place of a house. >> senator, did you copy all that information? >> with el did, and we're going to be looking for an enclosed room very shortly if the storm gets closer. we have about five or ten folks here in the store. i don't think we'll have the opportunity of a basement, but there are a few enclosed rooms we'll probably get to. it looks like it's pretty close, but we're still hoping for the best.
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>> we just want you to get away from that window. i assume you're inside that gas station, right? >> yes, we're inside, and we're still looking at the storm all around us, but still sort of in an eerie sort of twilight at this point with the storm not quite on us, but all sort of around us. >> we're talking with senator rand paul of kentucky. senator, have you ever gog through anything like this in your years in kentucky or elsewhere? >> we get tornadoes periodically here, and i also grew up along the gulf coast, so i'm familiar with hurricanes as well, which sometimes spawn tornadoes. yeah, kentucky gets their share of them. you know, we've had them hit bowling green before, maybe not quite as much as oklahoma or arkansas, but kentucky gets her share. >> we know if your dad or mom is watching, you want to make sure they're reassured you're okay. they might be watching okay, senator, do you want to say
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anything? >> no, tell them i'm on the road like he is, and i'm just glad i'm not in an airplane. i'm always a little more comfortable with two feet on the ground. we haven't heard yes, but we've got or staff out there, prepared to help people if we can in any way. >> i'm sure the federal government will try to come in and help out all you guys. these storms of not just in the frankfurt, kentucky area, unfortunately they're all over the place. please be careful, senator paul, and your folks that are with you, and say in close touch, okay? >> will do. thank you. >> thanks very much. if you're still there, chad, update our viewers on the very latest. >> i want to assure the senator and the people of frankfurt, this is not a maxi tornado
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situation, not an f-5 that might be coming at you. that rolled over north of louisville by about 30 miles. just by the grace that it didn't get down to louisville. it did go over marysville and across the river into kentucky. the tomorrow into the frankfurt, kentucky area is not a maxi tornado situation. it's pretty big, but not that much of a tornado maker, but a gust maker. it may blow the windows or shake you a bit, but the only place i would see rotation is now down farther to lawrenceburg. now, the other issue is what's going on in nashville, wolf. this is obviously a highly populated area. we've had reports of golf ball-sized hail. it is moving through rather quickly. there's an appendage down here. i'm very concerned about this. this can sometimes lead to a
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tornado developing right here. we go across the other side, from about brentwood to the east. if you need to take cover, get out of everything, you said to be in your basement from forest hills, brentwood and points eastward, but from nashville northward, you're pretty much in the clear. >> don't go too far away. we're going to check in with all of our reporters who are on the scene. rob marciano is out there as well. much more on the breaking news coverage. also, actually, let's listen to what's going on right now. >> the school is just the major damage to that. then the school buses and the homes, just major damage down here, just really hard to comprehend how strong these winds must have been. as you can see, that school bus was flipped around just thrown into the middle of the billing right there, jay.
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you can see that school bus there, what a destruction in henryville, indiana. these are live pictures you're seeing. you're seeing the school bus literally destroyed into the structure there. i assume that's a house, or maybe a store. look at those cars, just leveled, look destroyed in the homes and the wreckage. these are live pictures, courtesy of our affiliate of wlky. you can see the enormous devastation. also my interview with former senator rick santorum. got a lot to say. we go through many sures. a major interview with rick santorum coming up this hour as well. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant. when i grow up, i'm going to start a band. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. thanks, mom. i just want to get my car back.
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at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy? you're looking at they live pictures, look at the destruction of these buildings over here, these tornadoes ripping apart huge areas in the south and the midwest.
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we're going to go back and find out what's going on. lovely they will stay to the north. and one that was at least 150, if not 200 yards wide, maybe wider, and tore off this neighborhood. scrambling to get what they can and clear the roadways, so they can get to safe shelter with this next round of storms moving in. i believe you know the numbers
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as far as fatalities. to this point, zero. that's what we want to keep it out, but there's 6 to 10 patients at local hospitals. rescue and recovery continue to go under way, but they think they have made some headway as far as going door to door and recovering and helping out any victims that may have been trapped. so they're being encourage d right now that they may have gotten all the victims to where they need to be. >> rob, you're on the phone because it was too dangerous to be outside? is that what i understand? >> reporter: no, we ran into some resistance from the law, the county sheriff's office here wants all the nonessentially personnel, and that would be media, out of all neighborhoods affected. we're being rerouted to a staging area and commandport, where we will get our information there and give the
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workers the accessibility they need. you can imagine there's a lot of heavy equipment. at one point live power lines. open for travel, and there's still a lot of work to be done in that aspect. traffic is terrible. we are being rerouted. that's why you hear me on the phone here. the pictures haven't changed. it's going to be a long road ahead once we get through tonight. >> certainly will be. we'll stay in close touch. joining us on the phone is major chuck adams. in jeffersonville, indiana. set the scene over there. i understand extensive damage, major, where you are, we're showing our views some pictures. >> yes, sir, we have total
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devastation in the north-central part of the county, looks like widespread damage from west to the eastern part of our county. we have reported -- one fatality reported. >> the circumstances surrounding the fatality, do you know? >> i'm not ability to comment right now. we have officers on the scene in the henryville area. they have called for the coroner. however, you know, i can't confirm whether it's storm related or not. we did have extensive damage to the local high school there in henryville, which is located about 19 miles north of louisville, kentucky. and that seems to be where our -- the most concentrated damage is. however, it is widespread, it looks like it traveled. >> does it look like the storm has passed the area or is it still ominous outside? >> well, i believe it has
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passed. i don't know whether we've gotten another squall coming through. i'm not able to watch much of the weather. we have set up a command center there in henryville. that's our central location. we're inundated with calls with everything from their damage to electricity to power, the gas lines being -- gas lines getting shut off, and right now we're just doing the best we can with the manpower we have. we've got a lot of volunteers, we're compiling a list here at the office. people from nurses and medical staff all the way to local construction companies wanting to volunteer or help. >> i take it the power lines in major areas are down as well. it's about to get dark outside. if folks are listens, if they have access to what you're about to say, what advice do you have? >> i advise them to stay in, don't travel around and try to see any of this damage.
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and got only knows the injuries to people. we'll stay on top of the breaking news. thanks very much. major adams. also coming up, my extensive interview with rick santorum. he has a lot to say on a lot of issuing. you'll see it right here in "the situation room." do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team.
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we're following the race for the white house. you can see the tornadoes there, but rick santorum is in ohio, making his pitch to voters only days before they take to the polls on super tuesday. if santorum wants to be president of the united states, the surprise candidate will need to be well versed in everything that comes his way, potentially as the commander in chief. thank very much for joining us. i appreciate it. i want to go through substantive national security issues with you, first, beginning with israel and iran. i want you to react to what the president of the united states told jeffrey goldberg in "the atlantic" magazine. i'll read a quote. this is president obama -- i think the israeli government recognizes that as president of the united states, i don't
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bluff. i also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. but i think both the iranian and the israeli governments recognize when the united states says it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say. i guess i want to get your reaction. what do you think about what he's saying about this threat of israel and iran? >> well, it's welcome -- welcomed to where i think most americans are, which is that we don't believe the iranians should have a nuclear weapon. it would be nice if we actually saw policies from this administration that would follow on with his stated goals le eventually capitulated to his
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own party, but we see -- the secretary of defense basically saying israel is going to attack and condemning them for doing so? you're seeing all sorts of signs frankly that the president doesn't mean what he says. i'd like to see some tines that he isn't bluffs. >> if you were president of the united states and meeting next week with benjamin netanyahu in washington, knowing houses concerned israelis are about iran's nuclear intention, what would you is say? >> i would say there's no distance between the two of us, we are committed together to make sure that iran does not being a nook lard power, and we will work in concert if necessary, depending on what we believe is the beth course of action, but we will consult with each other to make sure we're on the same page and effectuating policies to keep iran from going nuclear. >> would you discourage vault
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from going ahead with a preemptive military strike to give sanctionis more time? >> i would work with israel to make sure we're on the same page. if they're moving forward because they believe -- and we can be convinced of that fact. >> let's move on in the area. into mar al assad is slaughtering thousands of peaceful protesters in his own country. the world is basically doing nothing except condemning it. unlike libya, there's no blockade. what would you do to stop the slaughter? >> here's another example if he's not bluffing, i don't know what he's doing. he said his stated policy is to remove asaid. if you believe the policy is to remove asaid, you have to do something when it.
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it's not like picking a team for the final four. you have you have to a role to play. in you look result it in context with iran, syria is a puppet state -- and of course the administration knows this. one of my concerns is the reason the president has been hesitant to get involved with this particular insurgent group was the same reason as is the only one he didn't get involved in. it shows again the president -- tendency to be appeasing of -- >> in afghanistan, we see a disturbing development in the accident burning of those korans, as you well know.
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afghan soldiers that the united states has trained, paid for, they're going out in government ministries, shooting military officers in the back of their heads. what's going on in afghanistan right now? is it time to get out of there? >> i think it's a situation we have to reevaluate and put the government on the line, president karzai on the line for this behavior, and have public apologies, public, you know, recriminations with respect to trials and actions on the part of the afghan government to make sure that the people in this country know this is something he will not be tolerated by them or by our government. this is a time we also have to reassess. here's the problem, wolf. we have a president who's already said we're leaving. so what's the reassessment in the case of this administration? we're already leaving. so we're going to leave sooner
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or a little later? that's been the fundamental problem with afghanistan from the very beginning. we didn't make the commitment to success, and as a result, everybody's hedging their bets in the region, leading to a much more difficult situation for us to be successful. that's part 1 of the interview. we've got part 2 coming up. we go through a lot of other issues, including his comments calling the president of the united states a snob. also he's reacting to that georgetown university law student who's been condemned as a prostitute, a slut by rush limbaugh. what rick santorum has to say on that. part 2 of the interview. also on top of the breaking news, the tornado warnings, the watches, look at this, nashville, tennessee is getting ready for a huge, huge storm right now. we're tracking the deadly storms right here in the "the situation room." look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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i want you to listen in. these tornadoes, look at these live pictures from the storm chaser on the scene for us courtesy of our affiliate. you can see this car driving by. let's listen in to you're affiliate. >> that's one that has a tornado on the ground or did in the glasgow area. we see reed's live pictures, the hail pounding their windshield in their car, that generally happened ahead of a tornado. heavy rain, hail, a dry slot and bam that tornado comes. they're trying to get into a better, safer position. it look lie we had a tornado on the ground just west of mumfordville. if you're watching from there, get in your shelter now.
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yeah, reed? >> i would agree with you now, we are -- picking up hail pretty regularly here. and we are -- the storm is just about a mile and a half to 2 miles west of us. i saw the area you were talking about, let me pan around and get a better shot. >> hey, control room, let's put us back into the split screen, i want to show the radar so we can see what reed is looking at now -- do you hear that? that is the hail coming down. >> yeah, he's right in the core. >> he's in the hail core. reed, you guys be careful. here's mumfordville, that rotation moving right through the mumfordville area -- >> we are getting golf ball-size
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hail here, and we're starting to -- along highway 31. stand by. >> highway 31, reed, that rotation is just about ready to pace over highway 31. wow, we can see the trees and the rain and everything. you guys need to be safe. storm tracker. -- >> i would say overall right now -- >> yeah, it is -- we're picking up the rotation, hail and everything. folks, heading along i-65, u.s. highway 31, off to the east of 31, you need to be in your storm sheller right now, the heavy rain, the hail, very gusty winds here as the storm passes right over reed.
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we can see that. here, folks, reed is right here. see this black that you see? that is the heavy hail core. >> if you go to 3-d, you'll see how high that goes, monty. that's right over the top the reed. >> this storm shows great vertical extent, producing large hail, damaging winds, even the potential of a tornado. we saw what appeared to be a tornado on the ground just to the west of mumfordville. reed is in that hail core. >> we have some electric lines across the road. >> like at that hail. >> we're seeing some damage here. we're right in the rotation right now, right where you're seeing the rotation. that's where we are theed roadway is judd covered with hail we're kind of running out of the hail at the moment.
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but mumford vit is getting hammered right directly in the heart of the city. >> that's where the rotation is. new tornado warning, northern green county, hart county, west taylor county. we're going to break away from our affiliate whas. you saw the destruction, that hail coming down senator, you're in northern,ennen what's it like where you are? >> we've a rough day. we're still getting report that there's still active stuff going on. >> the worst par is in southern indiana? >> that is correct. >> is it getting near the end of the system coming through indiana, lord will it go on and on and so? >> i don't know how on and on it
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will go, but it's still happening. but we're still assessing it. and elsewhere in the south and midwest. was there proper warn, as far as you know for this storm? as you know, sometimes there's just no safe play to go. >> we had some interviews
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earlier elsewhere, and it's just and you have what's going on. i don't know if you experienced a whole lot of tornado disaster such as they. we're put.response evers in plate, because there are probably more hours of tough situations, we really don't have a full hold on just exactly what's happening. >> we've just confirmed h. four dead now in indiana, not three. as you suspect, that number could go up. i assume you're in touch with authorities. >> we're also in touch with authorities, but we're trying not to interfere with the
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necessary rapid response. the reports coming in are not good. the amount of destruction is pretty significant, so hopefully there won't be any more confirmed fatalities, but i'm concerned there might be. >> marysville, indiana, i assume you know where that is, senator, a police official told us a little while ago, that town, in his words is gone. >> that's the information we have, marysville is no longer. it's not a large town, but of course it's a significant loss to the people there. >> it shows the kind -- >> what will you doner i assume you'll ask for federal relief, is that what you would normally do? >> first there has to be a declaration by the governor of
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an emergency, then it has to be confirmed in washington. it's fairly routine to do that. the first thing, wolf, is to obviously respond to the injuries and the deaths and destruction that's there. then an assessment is taken as quickly as possible, passed on up to washington. i happen to be ranking member on the homeland security appropriation committee, so i'm familiar with what fema does and the processes that go. we'll try to kick in with that as soon as possible, but we have to have a governor declaration first that goes to washington to be confirmed by the white house. >> senator, did luck to you, and good last quarter to the phones in indiana. earlier rand paul was stuck in the mittle of a situation. we're going to check back with him as well, make sure he's okay. >> well, our prayers and hearts go out. we appreciate prayers from anybody else that's here listening to you.
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>> senator coating, thanks very much. good luck to everyone. much mosh on the breaking news. also part 2 of my interview with rick santorum. ♪ there's a place i dream about ♪ ♪ where the sun never goes out ♪ ♪ and the sky is deep and blue ♪ ♪ won't you take me american flight 280 to miami is now ready for boarding. ♪ there with you fly without putting your life on pause. be yourself. nonstop. american airlines. at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car, and how much the people in your life count on you. that's why we offer accident forgiveness,
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we want to check back with chad myers, our meteorologist. chad, there's new information about these tornadoes coming in right now? >> yeah, i have a tornado now in the eastern part of kentucky that i believe would be would b tornado of the day. by the doppler signature what we call a debris ball on the radar, it's the biggest storm. it's the largest tornado that i've seen even including those storms that we looked at into indiana. let me take you to it right here. this is grassy creek. this is west liberty in eastern kentucky. there is a large hook echo here. here's the main cell. here's the hail of the storm. but this hook echo on the bottom is a signature of a tornado on the ground. then this big dark spot right through there, that's not even rain, wolf, that is the radar picking up things that are now in the air because this tornado is sucking them off the ground.
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it's shingles, it's house parts, it's glass, it's insulation, trees. up in the air because of this giant tornado, at least a couple hundred miles per hour. 180 to 200 at this point in time. this is a large maxi tornado. i won't call it an ef 5 because i'm not on the ground to see it. but it's certainly a 3 to a 4 without a doubt. let me take you to where it is. it's a big storm we have to worry about at this point in time. not a lot of people live here, but when you have something that's this big you need to be underground to survive it. that's literally how big this tornado is. we have cells with storms and tornadoes, small ones at least into parts of ohio. and then down here, though, that cell right there east of lexington is now going to eventually even move into parts of west virginia if it keeps going. that's the biggest cell of the day. you also earlier today had a read on one of the storm chasers, and he was talki mum
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fordville kentucky where he was all that hail driving down this road, that cell right there is the one causing all of that hail. in fact also causing a tornado that that storm chaser was on live here. i know he was talking to a different affiliate but we were taking that video life, wolf? >> chad we'll stay in close touch with you. more on the breaking news. also part two of my interview with senator rick santorum, the republican presidential candidate. he reacts to rush limbaugh outrageous comments. you'll be presented with one of these. we check the belts, hoses... brakes. tires and the pressures... battery, all your fluids... exhaust system, transmission... we inspect your air filter... it gets done,it gets done quickly and it gets done correctly. the works. oil change, tire rotation and more: $29.95 or less after rebate - at your ford dealer. you're a doctor... you're a car doctor. maybe a car doctor...
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o will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to earlier you heard rick santorum answer the tough questions on international security issues. here's part two of my talk with the republican presidential hopeful. >> you got a lot of grief by suggesting the president was a snob, a snob for wanting kids to go beyond high school, get some college education or technical school, get a certificate, get some post-high school education. >> whoa whoa whoa. no. >> go ahead. >> no, i didn't say that. i was given a long riff about the president mandating things on people. i was talking about the government, the president mandating healthcare. and what kind of loans we're going to get. then i went in and talked about the issue of him now coming
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forward, the statement that every child should go to college. and it was this attitude that government knows best. and so i was commenting on the general attitude of as i say in all my speeches of top down government knows best. so i used the term "snob." it was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing. but you know what? i don't give prepared talking speeches written by other people. i got a little passionate there and i used a harsher word than i normally would. but the point was, government shouldn't be dictating to people what they do. people should have opportunities. and we should be -- government should be in a position to encourage people of course to do things and upgrade their skills on a variety of levels. but to sort of say people should do this when it comes to four-year college education, i just think was a little over the top. >> all right. well, let's talk about this other education issue. you know about this georgetown university law student, this sandra fluke. today the president actually called her and supported her. she's getting criticized as you know by rush limbaugh who's used
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some outrageous terms, even a spokesman for the speaker john boehner is saying what rush limbaugh is saying is totally inappropriate right now. but let me play this little clip. because rush limbaugh is suggesting that by supporting government insurance, paid insurance for contraceptives, birth control pills or whatever, rush limbaugh is suggesting she's a shn slut or prostitute. then he even goes further. listen to this. >> ms. fluke and the rest of you fenimazis, if we are going to pay for your contra accept tifs and thus pay for you to have sex we want something for it. i'll tell you what it is. we want you to post the videos on line so we can all watch. >> all right. go ahead. i want you to respond to rush limbaugh. >> well, he's being absurd. but that's an entertainer can be absurd. and he's taken the absurd sort
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of point of view here as to how far do you go. and look, he's in a very different business than i am. i'm concerned about the public policy of this president imposing his values on people of faith who morally object to the government telling them they have to do something which they believe is a grave moral wrong. and government should not be in the business of telling -- when you talk about separation of church and state, you hear it all the time. well, the real separation of church and state that our founders believed in was that the state cannot tell people of faith what to do and run over their rights. and that's what the president is doing right now. >> you know, a lot of your fellow catholics were not happy with your criticism of president kennedy for calling for separation of church and state. you said when you heard that speech you wanted to throw up. i want you to address your fellow catholics, and tell us how you feel about the former president of the united states.
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>> well, when i grew up in a home, i remember having a picture of jfk in the house. it was very proud at a catholic to finally have someone who was the first catholic president. and it was a point of pride for me. and continues to be, the fact that this country at that time could elect a catholic. and he was legitimately. he had a legitimate reason to go and give that speech. and certainly i wasn't -- i was two years old at the time. but looking back, he absolutely needed to give that speech. the problem is he went farther than he should have. and he did a lot of good things. the vast majority of that speech i can agree with. but there were some very key lines in there that i think has led to a degradation of religious liberty in the country. when a president of the united states says that he believes in an absolute separation of church and state, that's france. that's not america. america believes in a vibrant public square with people of faith and no

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN March 2, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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